May 16, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Advocacy
The California Medical Association (CMA) along with the California Hospital Association, the California Teachers Association and SEIU California State Council has kicked off a campaign to extend the temporary income tax provisions of Proposition 30. This initiative will maintain the current tax rates on the wealthiest Californians to prevent billions of dollars in funding cuts for public education and vital health care services. This measure will generate $8 -11 billion per year, and provide up to $2 billion annually to improve access to health care for low-income children and their families.
California Governor Jerry Brown supported and campaigned for the passage of Proposition 30 in 2012 to increase taxes to prevent $6 billion cuts to the education budget for California state schools. The measure was approved by California voters by a margin of 55 to 45 percent.
The California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act of 2016 will extend for 12 years the current income tax rates on the wealthiest two percent of Californians – singles earning more than $250,000 and couples earning more than $500,000 a year.
Funding from this vital measure will provide local school districts the money they need to hire good teachers and reduce class sizes for our students. And it will improve access to health care services for the low-income children so they can stay healthy and thrive.
Budget forecasts show that unless we extend these taxes on the wealthy, in the first year alone our public schools will face nearly $5 billion in cuts and our state budget will face a nearly $3 billion deficit.
“Doctors and other health care providers across the state are supporting this initiative because it will provide critical funds to improve access to health care for low-income children and their families,” said CMA President-Elect Ruth Haskins, M.D. “This initiative will help our state provide the care vulnerable kids need to stay healthy and thrive.”
The initiative also ensures strict accountability and transparency so that all the money goes where it matters the most – directly to the classroom, not towards administrative costs.
A recent Public Policy Institute of California poll found that 61 percent of Californians support extending the income tax rates on the wealthiest individuals and couples to spare education and other vital services from a repeat round of devastating budget cuts.
CMA is urging physicians to add their names in support of the California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act today to give our kids the quality schools and health care they deserve. To do so, click here.